Help Your Body Adapt to Good & Bad Stress

By Dr. Chris D. Meletis, N.D.

September 2016

Stress seems to be at epidemic levels these days. Even my most resourceful and resilient patients feel the effects on their bodies. Our challenges with all the advances of modern living is, in part, information overload. Everything seems to happen at light speed; we get information from friends, family, social media and the news all within a click of a screen or a glance of a news flash. Our technological advances have far surpassed the natural coping processes that might have occurred over time.

Adrenal Support by Dr. Chris Meletis, ND

It is vitally important to know that stress comes in many forms, and that good and bad stress can both wreak havoc one’s health. People don’t realize that the stress for what appears to be very different life events are quite the same, according to the Holmes-Rahe Stress inventory. For instance, retiring from a job (ranks a 45) and getting fired (ranks a 47).  Likewise getting a mortgage (ranks 31) and foreclosure on a mortgage (ranks 30).

So, how does a person adapt to all the data and related stress we must process on a daily basis? Luckily nature has provided us adaptogenic herbs to help us handle stress. Among the many adaptogenic herbs I use in my clinical practice are American GinsengAshwagandhaAstragalusEleutheroLicoriceMacaRhodiola and Schisandra.

When selecting an adaptogenic herbal for my patients I start with the understanding that each of the botanicals mentioned above have been used for centuries in traditional medicine to help neutralize the impact of stress on the body. Each herb has its unique character, and how they have been grown and cultivated will have a huge impact on their ability to fully help the user achieve maximal positive benefit. It is always important to ensure that the soil, farming practices and the organic or wild crafted environment was nutrient rich and conducive to peak levels of bioactive components that naturally occur in each plant.

Finding the right adaptogenic herb for you is important. I like to use Rhodiola in my practice for those that are stressed, experiencing low energy and a down mood. Ashwaghanda helps many of my patients cope with stress and they report an increased sense of resilience. Astragalus is popular amongst my patients that have gotten stressed and now may be feeling a little under the weather.

These are just very general aspects of the amazing adaptogenic herbals nature has provided us for cope with modern living.

Visit with a healthcare provider and enjoy a good read about adaptogens as you discover the right ones for you and your stress. 


Dr. Chris Meletis, N.D.Dr. Chris Meletis, N.D., has 24-years of experience practicing as a Naturopathic Doctor in Portland, Oregon.  He is dedicated to using his vast knowledge about alternative medicine to help his patients and generously give to those in need. He has written over a dozen books and 100's of national articles, and was named Naturopathic Physician of the Year in 2003 by the American Association of Naturopathic Physicians.  Read more about Dr. Meletis here.  Or, visit our "Ask Dr. Meletis, N.D." page for additional articles. 

*Statements herein have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration, and are not intended to treat or diagnose any disease or health condition. The information on this website, and provided by Dr. Chris Meletis, N.D., is intended for educational and informational purposes only. It is recommended that patients check with their doctors before taking herbs, to ensure that there are no contraindications with prescription medications. There is additional information linked within this site to HealthNotes®, a third party educational source, containing the latest research on health and supplements. Oregon's Wild Harvest will not be held accountable for this information and consider it an education reference only.  

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